Losing a Loved One in an Accident Can Be Difficult. Let Our Allentown Wrongful Death Lawyer Help.
If you’ve lost a loved one in Allentown due to someone else’s negligence, you and your family deserve justice. The experienced and compassionate wrongful death attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will hold the negligent party accountable. We understand what a difficult time this is. In addition to your grief, you may face sudden financial burdens and an uncertain future. Let an Allentown personal injury lawyer at our firm handle the legal process so that you can mourn your loved one with peace of mind. Our wrongful death lawyers will file a wrongful death claim on your behalf so you can focus on other things.
$32 Million Wrongful Death
$26 Million Truck Accident
$17.5 Million Car Accident
$12 Million Product Liability
$9 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident
$8 Million Truck Accident
$7.5 Million Auto Accident
$6.9 Million Garbage Truck Accident
$6.5 Million Traumatic Brain Injury
$5 Million Medical Malpractice
$5 Million Bus Accidents
Since 1959, people in the Lehigh Valley and all over Pennsylvania have turned to Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys when it mattered most. We have helped thousands of families like yours get the justice and rightful compensation they need to move on from a devastating loss. Our personal injury attorneys have earned the highest peer review and client satisfaction ratings from prestigious legal publications such as Martindale Hubbell, Super Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America. Let us put our years of experience to work for you.
Chat live, fill out our contact form, or call today for a free consultation with an Allentown wrongful death lawyer.
What is Wrongful Death?
When another person or organization’s negligent or careless conduct results in the death of your loved one, you may have a wrongful death case. The purpose of a wrongful death suit is to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions, and to provide financial relief to the family of the deceased. In addition to your grief, you may face unexpected costs and sudden financial insecurity after the death of a family member.
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of future income
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages if applicable
Who Can File a Claim?
Family members of the deceased, including spouses, children, dependents, parents, siblings and grandparents, can file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims can be complex. Selecting the right personal injury lawyer with a high level of experience in Allentown will prove crucial to the success of your case. Our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers can guide you through the legal process.
Family members of the deceased, including surviving spouses, children, and parents can file a wrongful death claim. In Pennsylvania, the representative of the deceased’s estate (also known as the executor) must be the one to bring a claim on behalf of the inheritors of the estate. If he/she does not do so within six months of the date of death, however, then any of the deceased person’s beneficiaries may file a claim.
Wrongful death claims can be complex. Selecting the right personal injury lawyer with a high level of experience in Allentown will prove crucial to the success of your case. Our personal injury and wrongful death lawyers can guide you through the legal process.
How Can You Prove Negligence in your Claim?
Negligence is the failure to use the standard of care that a reasonable person would have used in a similar situation. In order to prove negligence, you must prove certain elements of a wrongful death claim:
Duty of Care
First, you must prove that the accused owed a “duty of care” to your deceased loved one. For example, a doctor responsible for treating your loved one has a duty to perform their job in a manner consistent with the standard in their field of medicine. Likewise, drivers on the road have a duty to take reasonable care not to harm other drivers and pedestrians.
Breach of Duty of Care
Next, you must show that the accused breached that “duty of care.” For example, you might need to demonstrate that your loved one’s doctor failed to properly diagnose an illness, or made an error in prescribing medication. Similarly, you may need to prove that another driver was behaving recklessly or breaking traffic laws.
While what happened to your family member may seem quite clear, to prove all of these elements is an enormous undertaking. An experienced Allentown wrongful death lawyer at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys will assume that burden on your behalf. We have decades of experience proving negligence in even the most complex cases, and we can ensure your family receives the justice you so deserve.
Types of Cases We Handle at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys
Fatal Car and Truck Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that every year more than 32,000 people are killed in traffic crashes every year. We represent individuals and families who suffered the loss of a loved one in a fatal car, truck, bus, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accident in personal injury claims. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Lehigh County was in the top ten Pennsylvania counties with the most reported traffic crashes and 30 traffic deaths in 2021. Busy roadways in the Allentown area, including I-78, I-80, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, U.S. Route 22, PA Route 309 and PA Route 33 see thousands of trucks and passenger vehicles traveling through the area every day.
Those negligent in a motor vehicle accident wrongful death case in Allentown can include:
- Another driver
- Auto manufacturer
- Auto parts manufacturer
- Trucking company
- Roadway designer or those responsible for the condition of a roadway
Allentown Aviation Accidents
The Lehigh Valley International Airport brings commercial and private planes in and out of the Allentown area. Local residents also use the Philadelphia airport, which is only an hour away. When negligence results in a fatal plane or helicopter crash, the responsible parties need to be held accountable. The accident could be a result of poor pilot training, faulty plane or equipment, mechanical negligence, structural defects or negligence on the part of the pilot or another employee. The aviation accident lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are experienced in this difficult type of personal injury case and we can help you.
Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys won a $32.25 million settlement for a tragic airplane crash.
Allentown Medical Malpractice
Medical errors are a leading cause of death in the United States. A medical malpractice wrongful death case may emerge when a patient dies from negligent care or a medical error. This can include negligence on the part of a doctor, anesthesiologist, hospital or another healthcare provider that results in the death of a patient in Allentown. Causes of medical negligence and wrongful death cases in the Lehigh Valley may include:
- Medical misdiagnosis
- Delayed diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
- Hospital acquired infections
- Emergency room negligence
- Nursing negligence
- Lab errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Childbirth errors
- Delayed treatment
- Nursing home negligence
Workplace and industrial accident deaths leave families devastated. When a fatal workplace accident in Allentown is the result of negligence, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help the family of the victim get the compensation they deserve for the loss of their loved one. We will not only help you recover workers’ compensation death benefits, but will also pursue a wrongful death negligence case against any liable third parties. OSHA reported that 4,764 workers were killed on the job in 2020. Fatal workplace accidents in the Lehigh Valley can include:
- Industrial machinery accidents
- Work transportation and trucking accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Fatal exposure to toxins or other harmful substances
If the death of your loved one in Allentown, Bethlehem or Easton resulted from a defective product, contact the wrongful death attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. If the death was the result of negligence, through a faulty design, manufacturing error or inadequate warning, you may have a wrongful death claim. Defective products that result in wrongful death in Allentown include:
- Recalled vehicles
- Dangerous prescription drugs
- Defective medical devices
- Exploding electronics
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Defective appliances
Our own Marion Munley was named “Product Liability Lawyer of the Year” in the Allentown Metro Area for 2017 and again 2019 by the legal guide Best Lawyers.
If dangerous conditions on someone else’s property resulted in the death of your loved one, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys has the experience you need to seek justice. Dangerous conditions on an Allentown property can result from poor maintenance, building code violations, inadequate warning of the hazard or inadequate security. Premise liability wrongful death in the Lehigh Valley can result from:
- Fatal trip and fall accidents
- Fatal elevator or escalator accidents
- Fatal dog attacks
- Inadequate fire safety
- Inadequate security
- Defective construction
- Poor maintenance
- Fatal swimming pool accident
- Failure to warn of an unsafe condition
Construction is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. Falls from heights, ladder accidents, heavy machinery accidents and other injuries may result in death. If negligence contributed to your loved one’s fatal injury, you may have a wrongful death suit. Those negligent in a construction accident may include:
- Construction site property owner
- General or subcontractors
- Construction manager
- Equipment manufacturer or distributor
What is the Statute of Limitations in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a lawsuit. However, don’t wait until the statute of limitations expires to file your case. An Allentown wrongful death attorney will want to start investigating your case right away to ensure no evidence is lost or destroyed in the immediate aftermath of the accident. In many cases, this evidence will be key in winning your case and giving you the best chance at recovering from your loved one’s catastrophic accident.
In some cases, filing early can also help you avoid red tape. A skilled wrongful death lawyer can take action quickly without filing a formal lawsuit that could get you the results you need without a long, drawn out court case.
So regardless of the statute of limitations, it’s critical you seek legal representation as soon as possible. We want to ensure you and your family get the justice you deserve so you can focus on mourning.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Claims in Allentown
Can Siblings Sue for Wrongful Death in Pennsylvania?
Under Pennsylvania law, beneficiaries of a wrongful death lawsuit are limited to the deceased person’s parents, spouse, and children. However, if the deceased has no surviving parents, children, or spouse, the executor of the deceased’s will can file a wrongful death lawsuit. In a case such as this, the damages will be distributed evenly among the deceased’s siblings.
How are Damages Distributed in a Wrongful Death Case in Lehigh County?
- If there was a surviving spouse and no children or parents, the spouse would get the entire settlement.
- If there was a surviving spouse and a surviving parent but no children, the spouse gets the first $30,000 and half of the remaining settlement, and the remaining portion of the settlement will be split between the deceased’s parents equally.
- If there was a surviving spouse and surviving children, the spouse will get the first $30,000 and half of the remaining settlement, and if the children belong to the surviving spouse, the courts will divide the remaining portion of the settlement between the children equally.
- If there were surviving children and no spouse, the settlement will be divided equally between the children.
- If there were surviving parents and no children or spouse, the settlement will be equally divided between the parents.
- If there were no surviving spouse, children, or parents – courts will divide the settlement amongst the deceased’s brothers, sisters, or nieces and nephews.
How Can aWrongful Death Lawyer Help Me?
Dealing with a death in the family is enough on its own. This is even more true when the death was avoidable and due to someone else’s negligence. Trying to navigate a complicated and potentially lengthy wrongful death claims process is not something you should ever have to do alone. Personal injury cases can be difficult to prove if you don’t have the right approach or knowledge of wrongful death lawsuits.
You and your family probably have a lot of questions about how to proceed after such a catastrophic event. It may even seem like the easiest and best thing to do is just to move on as quickly as possible. In fact, some insurance companies count on it and will make you an early offer hoping to settle your wrongful death claims quickly. An Allentown wrongful death attorney at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help you understand your rights. They can help you decide if you should you accept it, or try to obtain wrongful death damages in court.
Here are just a few of the ways an Allentown wrongful death attorney can help you with your wrongful death claim:
- Gather evidence. We will investigate your case in order to prove someone else’s negligence caused your family member’s death. This includes gathering evidence from surviving family members, negligent parties, third parties, and more.During this process, it’s key to have a skilled wrongful death lawyer who can identify what evidence is key to building your case and persuading a jury if need be. We can also gather evidence quickly so nothing gets lost or loses value over time.
- Find expert witnesses. In some cases, especially if technical or scientific information is needed to support your case, it will be key to utilize expert witnesses. These people can bolster the facts of your case and win wrongful death claims. At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we can identify these people and prepare them for trial as necessary.
- Answer your questions. We are here for you and will guide you through the wrongful death claims process from start to finish. With our knowledge and experience in wrongful death lawsuits, we can help surviving family members with all of the unknowns in these types of cases.
- Fill out paperwork. The last thing surviving family members should be dealing with is red tape. We will be your personal representative to deal with insurance companies on your behalf and fill out any necessary paperwork.
Seeking Compensation in a Wrongful Death Claim
A wrongful death lawsuit serves justice by holding the negligent person or parties accountable. But that’s not its only value. In these cases in particular, it’s also important we are considering the financial burden imposed after a loved one passes away for any reason. In the wake of a loved ones death, the surviving family members may be having to compensate for more than just an emotional loss.
While money might be the last thing you want to think about, we will take this burden away from you by building your case and fighting on your behalf while you mourn. Chances are high after such a catastrophic accident that you will start receiving calls from insurance companies or negligent parties who want to settle this quickly and take advantage of a sensitive time. An An Allentown wrongful death attorney will make sure you get full and proper compensation for your suffering and the costs that have come with it.
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we understand that while no amount of compensation can make up for the loss of your loved one, it can help provide for the future well-being of your family.
See what some of our past clients have to say about their experience with Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys.
No Fee Unless We Win
At Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys, we understand the emotional and financial strains your family is experiencing at this time. We believe in justice, and we want to alleviate your burdens, not add to them. For this reason, we work on a contingent fee basis. We do not charge a fee for our services unless we win your case. The fee is a percentage of the settlement or verdict, so you will never have to pay anything upfront or out of pocket. And, our fee will never exceed the amount paid to you. If we cannot get you the justice you deserve, you owe us nothing.